Musée d'Orsay: Orsay through the Eyes of Julian Schnabel

Orsay through the Eyes of Julian Schnabel

Contemporary interpretations

Julian SchnabelPeinture de rose (Près de la tombe de Van Gogh) XVII© Julian Schnabel Studio /Tom Powel Imaging © Adagp, Paris 2018
For its first invitation to a great contemporary artist, the Musée d’Orsay has asked the painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel to give an interpretation of the collection, by presenting, in two of the museum’s historic rooms, a new scenography and a selection of works that have never previously been displayed together.

Julian Schnabel is one of the most important living artists of today. Acclaimed since the beginning of his career in the 1980s, his works can be found in the leading art museums of the world, including the MoMA in New York, the Tate in London and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which held a solo exhibition of his work in 1987. He is also a leading film director, making films such as Basquiat (1996), Before Night Falls (2000, Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, Golden Globe for Best Director and Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival).

For this exhibition, his first in a leading French institution since the Pompidou Centre over thirty years ago, and timed to coincide with the release of a film about Van Gogh, At Eternity's Gate, the artist has chosen from the collection, works that converse - not only van Gogh and Gauguin, who feature in his film, but also Cézanne, Manet, Courbet and less well-known yet very influential artists such as Carolus-Duran and Théodule Ribot - in order to give visitors a new perspective on these works, works they have seen before but will now perceive in a new light – cast by Julian Schnabel.

In counterpoint to the works from the Musée d’Orsay’s collection, the artist will present a selection of his own paintings, demonstrating the qualities of the medium that have endured from the 19th century to today. Painted in a visual conversation with Manet or with van Gogh, they will offer a new overview of the works of a leading painter of today.


Julian Schnabel, in collaboration with Louise Kugelberg and Donatien Grau, project leader for the President of the Musées d'Orsay et de l'Orangerie


Orsay par/by Julian Schnabel
Schnabel Julian
Musée d'Orsay / Flammarion

With the generous support of Gucci, Pathé and The Connaught Hotel

With the exceptional collaboration of Blum & Poe, Max Hetzler, Pace, Almine Rech and Vito Schnabel 

10 October 2018 - 13 January 2019
Musée d'Orsay

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